10 Natural Ways To Improve Migraines Immediately
Thirty-six million Americans suffer from it. It cost American tennis star, Serena Williams a tournament match. Emperor of Rome, Julius Caesar lived with it. Thomas Jefferson governed a country despite it. What is it? Why, Migraine, of course!
Migraines have afflicted people for centuries. Some of the most famous names have suffered and continue to suffer from migraine. Little understood and much feared, these headaches are still frequently dismissed as being largely psychosomatic. However they can be debilitating at best and devastating at worst! In this article we’ll talk about 10 natural ways to take action and improve your migraines.
So, what is migraine? It is a recurrent, throbbing headache, often in one side of the head, frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. For some, migraines may also include a stage called aura, which is marked by visual disturbances. (http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/migraine-causes-and-cures)
Why migraines happen
Migraine is a neurobiological disorder involving both neurological and vascular changes in the brain during an attack. People with a genetic predisposition have a reduced threshold for the activation of the brain’s “pain centers” and become hypersensitive to stimuli that cause pain. These set off a wave of nerve cell activity and neurotransmitter release that activates blood vessel inflammation, feeding pain structures deep in the brain.
Migraines are set off by certain triggers, which vary from person to person. These triggers include hormonal changes, intense physical exertion, sensory stimuli like bright lights or loud noises, changes in sleep patterns, certain prescription medications, mental or emotional stress, skipping meals and poor blood sugar regulation….the list goes on…
What are some natural ways to improve migraines?
There are several straightforward, natural ways to manage migraines and reduce their impact on your day-to-day life. Of course, it is always better to prevent migraines than to treat them. Prevention and building resilience to migraines is a slow-and-steady journey that can take several months or even a year. Here are 10 changes that have helped many people improve & cope with their migraines during this journey:
1) Cut back on emotional stress with intention: Identify the most toxic relationships and situations, avoid them if you can or work with a therapist to learn to cope better with them. Learn specific techniques to calm your nervous system, such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
2) Reduce physical stress: Consciously relax your jaw, neck and shoulders. If you sit for long amounts of time, get up and stretch often. Learn self-massage techniques!
3) Reduce the toxic load on your body: Remove toxins from your food, beauty and household products. Filter your water and avoid eating and drinking from plastic containers.
4) Stick to a routine: Eat meals and snacks at around the same time each day. Also, go to bed and wake up at the same times.
5) Move regularly: Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Figure out an exercise routine that works for you and then stick to it.
6) Use ice packs: Ice is anti-inflammatory and can both prevent migraines or tone down a full-blown migraine attack.
7) Try supplements: In a recent study, patients who took a supplement of 400 mg of Vitamin B2 daily experienced fewer migraines after 3 months. However, do consult with your doctor or a migraine specialist before beginning to take supplements and then work with them to determine the cause for your deficiency.
8) Look into herbal options: Recommendations from the American Academy of Neurology confirm that the herb butterbur may prevent migraines, as it promotes healthy blood flow to the brain. Other herbs are still in study. However, again, you should consult with your physician or a migraine specialist before beginning to take any herbs.
9) Try acupuncture: Several studies have found that acupuncture provides the same amount of relief as migraine medication, but without the side effects.
10) Know your triggers: You should know what sets off your migraine headaches and avoid those triggers during times that you know you are most prone to migraines. For example, if you get migraines during your menstrual cycle, you can make an extra effort avoiding the food triggers that cause your migraines during this time. If you get more migraines when you travel, you may want to cut back on wine and chocolate before and during your next trip. If you need help determining your triggers, check out my free guide (click here to download).
Discover true freedom
If you suffer from migraines, don’t despair. Although they are incredibly common and many people feel that they just have to manage and deal with them, it is possible for most people to identify healing opportunities in the digestive, detoxification, immune and hormone systems that when balanced, dramatically reduce their sensitivity to triggers and therefore the frequency and intensity of their migraines. So, consult a migraine specialist and take the first step towards freedom…freedom from pain….freedom from migraines…
Luckily I am not a Migraine sufferer, but I have friends who are, therefore I will be sharing this with them, as I am a huge advocate of preventative strategies, ,particularly acupuncture. Acupuncture has been my magic wand through other sorts of pain & prevention control for the last forty years, it’s amazing. Thank you for the advice.